The European Parliament’s decision not to immediately pass the new EU Copyright Directive in July was seen by many as a major setback. It was defeated by 318 to 278, a margin of 40 votes. This means the proposed legislation now moves forward to a full plenary debate and vote next Wednesday 12 September.

As the music industry faces this pivotal moment, it is worth reflecting how we got here and what we are now facing.

The creative industries as a whole have long argued that embryonic digital legislation passed in the mid 1990s is outdated and simply not fit for purpose. The legislative process is slow at the best of times. Meanwhile, the tech industry “moved fast and broke things,” incurring the wrath of creators whose livelihoods have been upended as a result.

The publication of the draft EU Copyright Directive in late 2016 was an achievement in itself. Not only did the draft legislation address copyright protection and safe harbour loopholes, it also contained provisions concerning fairness and transparency towards creators. Following further debate and lobbying, is even more of an achievement that the key elements of the draft directive remain mostly intact.

The Directive has not been without it’s critics, as is the case with any proposed legislation. Academics, libraries and dignitaries such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee have all put forth concerns. We in the music industry can acknowledge some concerns as understandable even if we believe they are unfounded.

What is not understandable are the thoroughly vile and dishonest tactics deployed during the course of this year, whose objective is to stop the legislation in its tracks at any cost. The scale of this activity reads like set pieces straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook.

Some in the music industry have questioned how we fight back given the vast funding involved and the sheer scale of this enterprise. But fight back we must and the actions of those we face only serve to give us greater strength.

As any Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster will tell you: use your opponents’ force against them. In this case, we should call out the deceitful actions from within the tech sector and elsewhere and those actions speak louder than any words.

  • The Financial Times reported some MEPs received death threats

  • MEPs were each bombarded with over 60,000 emails from bots

  • These emails contained identical content according to The Trichordist

  • The same blog named the domain name from which a large number of these emails originated and its link to a US Inc. entity.

  • The same tactics have been found on Twitter: multiple bot accounts promoting #SaveOurInternet and similar hashtags

  • This contrasts to real world protests that only drew a few hundred protestors combined across Europe. The bots did not show up.


These actions must also be viewed against the current backdrop where tech firms have been scrutinised for avoiding responsibility concerning:

  • Blatantly dishonest content

  • Content that incites hatred and violence

  • Little accountability in how such content is disseminated

  • Minimal transparency in how user data is abused in facilitating all this

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are amongst those tech executives rebuked by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, for failing to take responsibility and failing to act in managing their own platforms. This is reflective of a broader failure that lies at the heart of a misguided and libertarian ideal, that somehow tech firms are exempt from laws and rules that govern the rest of the world.

The music industry and broader creative and media industries are made up of real people, filled with passion and blood pumping through their veins. They compose their own emails, speak to politicians and show up in person.

At the UK Music organized #LoveMusic busking event in London earlier today, artists, executives and even politicians turned out in support. Artists such as Brett Anderson, Ed Harcourt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Newton Faulkner and BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt. In addition a number of cross party British MPs who support the directive including Tom Watson, Nigel Evans and Kevin Brennan were amongst those in attendance.

One has to ask, if those opposing the EU Copyright Directive have such a compelling argument, why do they resort to such deceitful means? If we judge their actions, the arguments of those opposed to the directive hold no legitimacy and the European Parliament should vote in favour of the directive.

Andy Edwards, music manager and consultant

28 Jan 2020 | Press release

Keychange Announce 74 New Participants for Year-Long Capacity Building Programme

16 leading music organisations from 12 countries lead global movement for changeProviding women and gender minority participants all the skills and opportunities they need to get to the next stage in their career.74 artists and music industry professionals from 12...more

28 Jan 2020 | Press release

The Great Escape announces 100 more acts


28 Jan 2020 | Press release

Kobalt Signs Lewis Capaldi to International Neighbouring Rights Deal

Chart-Topping, Grammy-Nominated Artist Finds Someone To Love With New Deal   Kobalt today announced that Lewis Capaldi has been signed to an international neighbouring rights deal. Previously represented by PPL for international collections, Capaldi joins Kobalt for a neighbouring rights deal that...more

28 Jan 2020 | Press release

IMPALA statement on the UK's stance on the EU Copyright Directive

The European copyright directive brings clear benefits for creators, citizens and of course start-ups. It was years in the making and should also beavailable in the UK. The UK has always taken a lead in Europe on these issues. When the directive was being voted,...more

28 Jan 2020 | Press release

Over half admit to listening to less albums in last five years

Over half of us listen to fewer albums than 5 -10 years ago… Biggest reasons: being too busy and artists not making albums like they used to  High-quality sound can make us reconsider our choices. 94% feel high audio quality is important...more

28 Jan 2020 | Press release

F That, a digital agency specialising in interactive social media content launches in UK

UK-based digital agency F That has recently been launched by director Matt Pilcher who previously worked as an executive at Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative. The agency is the first of its kind to specialise in interactive and disruptive social...more

27 Jan 2020 | Press release

The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard announces Fred again.. as Producer of The Year

The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard exclusively broadcast on ITVTuesday 18th February from The O2 Arena in London   The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard today announces Fred the youngest ever recipient of the award for BRITsProducer of The Year. Since cutting...more

27 Jan 2020 | Press release

Calvin Harris, Camila Cabello, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, AJ Tracey and Biffy Clyro to perform at Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2020 in Dundee

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend will return for 2020 with Harry Styles, Camila Cabello and Dua Lipa among the first acts named on the bill.  The station’s annual flagship live music event will take place in Camperdown Park in Dundee, Scotland...more

27 Jan 2020 | Press release

Annie Mac presents announce first wave of conference speakers and topics for March 2020 event

1 DAY OF TALKS AT CAMDEN HOUSE FRIDAY 6TH MARCH   SPEAKERS: Amber Davis (Warner Chappell) Aniefiok Ekpoudom (The Guardian) Annie Mac (DJ / Broadcaster) Ben Mawson (Tap Music) Ben Mortimer (Polydor Records) Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets) Caius Pawson (Young Turks / XL Recordings) David Joseph (Universal) Fay Milton (Savages / 180dB / Music Declares Emergency) Grace Ladoja (Metallic Inc / Homecoming) Jamie Ahye (Atlantic...more

27 Jan 2020 | Press release

Sound City returns in 2020 with an exclusive Friendly Fires headline show, plus additions Marika Hackman, The Snuts and Louis Berry

A sprawling block party where pop-up bars, clubs, warehouses, workshops and scrap-yards make way for the hottest new music talent from around the globe, Sound City returns in 2020 with an exclusive Friendly Fires headline show.  Joining Pale Waves as co-headliners,...more

27 Jan 2020 | Press release

Leading London Music School ICMP champions music industry equality with new event series

Leading London music school ICMP has launched its new EQualiser event series with an all-female panel of alumnae calling for greater equality in the music industry.     Former BASCA CEO Vick Bain led the Music Industry Now discussion with a presentation of her research, ‘Counting the Music Industry: The Gender...more

27 Jan 2020 | Press release

AIM reaction - UK gov confirms it will not implement the EU Copyright Directive

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM said: "As the government delivers Brexit, Britain has an opportunity to enact its own primary legislation that is specifically tailored to the UK's own interests and those of its business community. Whilst it is clear that...more

27 Jan 2020 | Press release

AJ Tracey joins independent music conference, AIM Connected, as keynote speaker

UK rap sensation AJ Tracey will be joining The Association of Independent Music (AIM)'s upcoming independent music conference, AIM Connected, for a keynote discussion about his career as an independent artist alongside his manager, Andy Musgrave. AJ Tracey has remained fiercely independent...more

27 Jan 2020 | Press release

Flutin Announces Flutin First, Its Emerging Artist Incubator

When you want to empower emerging artists and help them find their fans, it's not just about building a platform or space. It's about lifting up and investing in promising talent, one compelling musician at a time. This requires more...more

26 Jan 2020 | Press release

Government slashes business rates for grassroots music venues

Hundreds of music venues across England and Wales celebrating as Music Venue Trust secures 50% rate reduction   The live music circuit is celebrating today as the Government announced details of a 50% reduction in Business Rates for small and medium sized...more

26 Jan 2020 | Press release

UK Music reacts to Government over Copyright Directive

Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and InnovationDepartment for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy     Dear Chris, I am writing on behalf of UK Music in response to your statement of 21 January that the Government has no...more

24 Jan 2020 | Press release

Apple Music launches Antidote playlist

The UK has a long-standing and rich alternative music culture. From iconic and legendary DJs and chart tv shows to groundbreaking alternative music papers and trailblazing music festivals, there has long been a fervent spirit of non-conformity in the United Kingdom....more

24 Jan 2020 | Press release

Festival Republic launch Rebalance Celebrates International Women’s Day


24 Jan 2020 | Press release

Billboard names Sir Lucian Grainge as first-ever 'Executive of the Decade,' Jody Gerson as 'Executive of the Year' on 2020 Power 100

  Universal Music Group's Chairman & CEO Becomes the First Executive to be Honored by the Publication a Record Five Times  Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman & CEO Makes History as Award's First Music Publishing Executive and First Woman Recipient   Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and...more

24 Jan 2020 | Press release

Hipgnosis acquires Brian Higgins catalogue

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited (“Hipgnosis” or the “Company”) Acquisition of Music Catalogue   The Board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and its Investment Adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, are pleased to announce that the Company has acquired a music catalogue from 3 times...more

23 Jan 2020 | Press release

Kite: Brand new festival of ideas & music launches in January

KITE Festival’s official launch: 23rd January 2020 First festival of its kind delivering a pioneering event of ideas and music Kickstarter launch will build a community of ‘festival founders’ who will help shape the event Kite is a joint venture between the founders...more

23 Jan 2020 | Press release

AWAL Signs Worldwide Recordings Deal with mxmtoon

On the Back of More Than 300 Million Streams & Publishing Deal with Kobalt, Rising Bedroom Pop Star Inks Recordings Deal  January 23, 2020 - AWAL, Kobalt's recording company, today announced a global deal with singer, songwriter, and producer, mxmtoon. The...more

23 Jan 2020 | Press release

Merlin and TikTok agree to a landmark global music licensing partnership

 Merlin, the digital licensing hub for the world’s independent music sector, has entered into a multi-territory partnership with TikTok, the world's leading destination for short-form mobile video with a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy. The deal is effective immediately...more

23 Jan 2020 | Press release

HMV-owner buys 200 store-strong entertainment and pop culture retailer in USA with acquisition of For Your Entertainment

Canadian business entrepreneur Doug Putman, owner of hmv in the UK and Sunrise Records in Canada has confirmed today that he has committed to acquire For Your Entertainment (FYE), the leading US entertainment retail and ecommerce business. FYE has over...more

23 Jan 2020 | Press release

Ditto Music announce launch of ‘Bluebox’

DITTO MUSIC ANNOUNCE LAUNCH OF ‘BLUEBOX’: A BRAND-NEW SUITE OF MUSIC INDUSTRY TOOLS PUTTING 250,000 ARTISTS ON THE BLOCKCHAIN   Global music distribution and record label services provider Ditto Music has announced the launch of Bluebox, a brand new blockchain-backed suite of...more

22 Jan 2020 | Press release

Mixcloud reveals brand consultancy arm LOUD

Audio streaming platform Mixcloud welcomes 2020 by announcing the launch of its in-house brand consultancy LOUD, under the leadership of founding partners Kazim Rashid and Ben Lawrence. LOUD further diversifies the audio streaming platform's revenue mix, following 2019’s roll out of...more

22 Jan 2020 | Press release

Ayla Owen appointed European VP of Sync and Creative Services at Warner Chappell Music

ANDREW HOWELL NAMED UK HEAD OF SYNC   Ayla Owen has been appointed Vice President, Sync & Creative Services for Europe at Warner Chappell Music, the global music publishing arm of Warner Music Group.  Coordinating the company’s Sync and Creative Services operations...more

22 Jan 2020 | Press release

Concord Music Publishing announces partnership with Creative Titans and first signing with hitmaker Bassto

Concord Music Publishing, the worldwide independent leader in music publishing, today announces a new creative partnership with Guyanese-American music executive Ron André Elvis Telford and his Creative Titans business. The partnership will see Ron Telford work with Concord's A&R team, led by EVP Worldwide A&R,...more

22 Jan 2020 | Press release

Culture Minister Nigel Adams reveals plan for new music strategy to ensure industry remains “the envy of the world”

Culture Minister Nigel Adams revealed Government plans for a new music strategy as he pledged to support UK’s “brilliant creators”. The disclosure was welcomed by Deputy CEO Tom Kiehl of UK Music which has been calling for the new music...more

22 Jan 2020 | Press release

Concord Music Publishing appoints Tom Coulson-Smith as Director of A&R

Concord Music Publishing today announces the appointment of executive Tom Coulson-Smith as Director of A&R, to its  growing frontline A&R team. Based at Concord’s London office, the former Warner Chappell executive sees himself reunited with Kim Frankiewicz, EVP Worldwide A&R at Concord...more

28 Jan 2020

  • Laurent Hubert takes CEO role at Kobalt; Willard Ahdritz becomes Chairman (see Business)

  • Radio 1’s Big Weekend announced (see Media)

27 Jan 2020

  • Billie Eilish dominates Grammy awards in key categories (see News)

  • UK will not implement the EU Copyright Directive (see News)

  • Fred again... wins Producer of the Year BRIT Award (see News)

24 Jan 2020

  • Hipgnosis acquires Brian Higgins catalogue (see Deals)

  • Merlin strikes multi-territory deal with TikTok (see Business)

23 Jan 2020

  • Downtown acquires FUGA (see Business)

  • Concord appoints Tom Coulson-Smith as Director of A&R (see Business)

  • Amazon Music reports 55 million customers globally (see Digital)

22 Jan 2020

  • Recording Academy CEO/president Deborah Dugan calls Grammy voting process 'ripe with corruption' (see International)

  • Spotify tests Stories feature (see Digital)

  • Warner Chappell make key appointments (see Business)

21 Jan 2020

  • Reports from MusicAlly's NY:Lon conference (see Digital)

20 Jan 2020

  • Soundcloud reported strong 2018 figures (see Business)

  • Universal Music launches Creative Differences, highlighting the benefits of employing neurodiverse individuals (see News)

  • Beyoncé said to have signed with Sony/ATV Music Publishing (see Deals)

17 Jan 2020

  • Hipgnosis acquires Ammar Malik catalogue (see Business)

  • O2 partners with CTS Eventim (see Business)

  • Recording Academy head Deborah Dugan out a week before Grammys (see International News)

16 Jan 2020

  • Ed Sheeran ordered to disclose concert income for copyright lawsuit (see News)

  • BMG signs deal with sample licensing startup Tracklib (see Digital)

  • Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel and Stormzy to perform at the BRIT Awards 2020 (see News)

15 Jan 2020

  • Russell Fogden and Morgan Hughes to lead Warner's Artist Services team in London (see Business)

  • Billie Eilish to sing the new James Bond theme (see News)

  • Universal Music UK launches The Square, Jack Fryer promoted to Managing Director (see Business)

  • HMV confirms five stores saved from closure (see Business)